Frequently Asked Questions
Having been blogging for a few years, I have answered many questions from many beauty enthusiasts. Here are the questions that I have been asked the most, along with my answers. Hope you will find them helpful, and do e-mail me if you have further questions. (Please find my e-mail address here.)
Q: Where do you buy all your Japanese makeup products?
I buy them when I travel to Asia, and my friends in Asia also help me with the purchases. In addition, I buy them on-line.
The two websites that I have shopped from are www.adambeauty.com and ichibankao.com. Adam Beauty is based in Hong Kong and Ichibankao is based in Japan. Both use PayPal and ship internationally. There are some other websites that carry Japanese cosmetics, but I have only shopped from these two sites and I have been pleased with their services. For items not listed on Ichibankao, you can e-mail them and ask them if they can source the items for you.
(I am not affiliated with either of these two businesses. I am just a happy customer.)
Q: Could you do swatches/FOTDs of the makeup items you review?
Due to the lack of time, I am afraid that I don’t do swatches of makeup items that I review. To make up for this, I try to describe the colors/finishes of the items in detail and provide links to relevant posts by other bloggers.
I don’t post FOTD (Face of the Day) or EOTD (Eyes of the Day) images on my blog. This is mainly because I am a very private person.
Q: I will be going on a trip to Japan soon. Could you recommend some must-see brands? (I am new to Japanese cosmetics. What brands should I look into first?)
For department store brands/lines, have a look at Ayura, Coffret d’Or (at Kanebo counters), Elégance, Est, Jill Stuart, Lunasol, Magie Deco (at Cosme Decorte counters), Maquillage (at Shiseido counters), RMK, and SUQQU. For drugstore lines, don’t miss Integrate, Kate, Kiss, Lavshuca, and Majolica Majorca. (For more information on beauty shopping in Tokyo, please have a look at this post.)
Q: I will be traveling to London soon. Where should I go for some beauty shopping?
Do have a look at this post for more information.
Q: Could you recommend a good base (primer)?
Because I don’t use a primer regularly, it is not easy for me to recommend one purely based on my personal experience. The product that I use as a primer the most is actually Estée Lauder’s Idealist, and I use it for pore coverage. (But, still, I don’t use it very often, and I usually use a loose powder for pore coverage.)
Q: Could you recommend a good powder/liquid foundation for oily skin?
Liquid foundations generally don’t suit oily or combination skin. Powder foundations with good sebum control generally work much better. I recommend ZA’s Two-Way Foundation and Coffret d’Or’s Beauty Lasting Pact UV (if it is still available).
(Update: ZA’s Two-Way Foundation has been replaced by Skin Beauty Two-Way Foundation, which I also recommend for those with oily skin.)
Q: I am a MAC foundation shade X. Which shade from Japanese brand Y should I use?
I don’t use MAC foundations and I am not very familiar with their shades. However, if you want to try foundations from Japanese brands (and if you have to select a shade on-line without being able to test the shades in person), I would recommend starting with either the lightest OC shade (if you have a fair skin tone) or the second lightest OC shade (if you have a light or light-to-medium skin tone). (See this post for more information on Japanese foundation shade categories.)
Q: What do you think about BB (Blemish Balm) creams?
They don’t really fit my (already very simple) skincare and base makeup routine, and it is not likely that I will look into them extensively.
(Update: See my round-up of BB cream basics.)
Q: I have noticed that you haven’t reviewed any eye cream on your blog. Could you recommend a good one?
Your eye areas do not require a separate moisturizer from the one you use for the face. If a facial moisturizer is well-formulated enough, it should generally be suitable for the eye areas. You don’t have to buy a separate moisturizer for the eye areas unless your eye areas are considerably oilier or drier than the rest of your face, and, even for that purpose, you don’t always need to pay a relatively high per-ml price for an eye moisturizer (relative to the facial moisturizer in the same range).
Also, in virtually all cases, eye creams do not eliminate wrinkles, dark circles, or puffiness. All that needs to be done is to keep the eye areas properly moisturized, and, again, in most cases, a well-formulated facial moisturizer (which may well be the one you are already using for your face) should do the job.
Q: Could you recommend some good anti-aging skincare products?
Generally speaking, the only real anti-aging products are sunscreen products with both UVA and UVB protection. Please see this post for more information.
Q: I see that you have started to list product prices in Japan in your posts on the latest makeup collections from Japanese brands. But why do you only list prices in some of the posts?
In Japan, there are a number of ways in which product prices are publicized. One of them is called No-Point Price. One of the best ways to find out the prices of products from these brands/lines is to visit the retail points, as brands/lines with this pricing policy don’t always provide price information in other ways (not even on their official websites). (But some beauty magazines and on-line beauty portals in Japan may list the prices after making an inquiry.) I will try to list pricing information whenever it is available at the time of posting. If you are interested in knowing the price of a particular product or the general price range of a particular brand/line, please do leave a comment or e-mail me.